FITZ-GIBBON, ABRAHAM COATES
- Born: 1823 Died: 1887
Railway engineer. Abraham Fitz-Gibbon was born at Mount Eagle, Kilworth, Co. Cork, on 23 January 1823. When he was only three years old his father, Lieutenant Philip Fitz-Gibbon, R.N., died. He was sent by his mother to the Royal Naval School, London, and in 1837 started a six-year apprenticeship with CHARLES LANYON in Belfast. While working for Lanyon, he was employed first as clerk of the works on certain public buildings in Belfast and then as assistant engineer on various railway schemes, including the Londonderry & Coleraine, Belfast & Ballymena and Londonderry & Enniskillen lines. During his years with Lanyon he had tbe advantage of a wide variety of engineering experience, working on roads, bridges, harbours, drainage, waterworks, and railways as well as architectural projects. In 1847 he entered the service of WILLIAM DARGAN , for whom he completed ten miles of the Dundalk & Enniskillen Railway, sixty miles of the Dublin and Cork Railway, and the whole of the Newry & Portadown Railway.
Fitz-Gibbon's Irish career ended in 1852, when, on Dargan's recommendation, he went to the United States to report on the proposed Illinois Central Railway. The remainder of his professional career was spent in the United States and Canada, Ceylon, New Zealand, and Australia. He retired to England in 1868 and remained there until his death on 4 April 1887, which took place at his house in Hertfordshire.
All information in this entry is from the obituary of Fitz-Gibbon in Min. Proc. ICE 89 (1886-87), 466-469, which see for a more detailed account of his career.